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Surveillance as a business model is the only thing that makes a site like Facebook possible.

I have been on the internet probably longer than majority of current folks today have had pubic hair. Some of the promises of universal access, universal information and something for everyone, like left handed pipe fitters who enjoy hamsters, is coming, but at a cost that is risking everyone’s privacy, safety and security.

If you want to understand how fucked up the internet is today, READ THIS.

Yeah it is this bad.

P.S. The title of this posting is a take away from the author Maciej Ceglowski posting from the link above. If you missed it here it is again. READ THIS.

Stop DRM in HTML 5

The web works because the underlying code HTML has up until now been open. Some folks want to close it down.

“Encrypted Media Extensions” is a proposal to allow DRM style proprietary types of content into the web. Dumb Move.

Read More:

Don’t let the myths fool you: the W3C’s plan for DRM in HTML5 is a betrayal to all Web users.

Take Action:
More than 22,000 people have signed.
Help us reach 50,000!
Tell W3C: We don’t want the Hollyweb

We already have too many bad media extensions like Flash, Java, and Silverlight, which constantly put users at risk with constant security updates. It is time to get off this treadmill.

British Copytheft

A frightening piece of legislation from Britain.
UK.Gov passes Instagram Act: All your pics belong to everyone now

Here is a tidbit:

The Act contains changes to UK copyright law which permit the commercial exploitation of images where information identifying the owner is missing, so-called “orphan works”, by placing the work into what’s known as “extended collective licensing” schemes. Since most digital images on the internet today are orphans – the metadata is missing or has been stripped by a large organisation – millions of photographs and illustrations are swept into such schemes.

Yep! Everyone of those sharing sites like Facebook, Instagram, and others where you just clicked Yes to the Terms and Conditions is now free to exploit what they just boiler plated previously.

From Instagram:

“you hereby grant to Instagram a non-exclusive, fully paid and royalty-free, worldwide, limited license to use, modify, delete from, add to, publicly perform, publicly display, reproduce and translate such Content, including without limitation distributing part or all of the Site in any media formats through any media channels, except Content not shared publicly (“private”) will not be distributed outside the Instagram Services.”

I have written about this before,
Instagram’s TOS – Facebook Beacon 2.0

From Facebook:

“2.3 For content that is covered by intellectual property rights (like photos and videos), you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy and application settings: you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use, copy, publicly perform or display, distribute, modify, translate, and create derivative works of (“use”) any content you post on or in connection with Facebook. This license ends when you delete your content or your account.”

Facebook Proposed Statement of Rights & Responsibilities, bullshit walks Take 2
Social Network Slavery YouTube hands Viacom the whip

Now it just remains to see how quickly the Social Media sites open up British offices to drive your property through this.

Instagram’s TOS – Facebook Beacon 2.0

OMG!!! Instagram the internet mobile phone photo sharing site has changed it terms of service and has the interweb media in an uproar!!!
They want to use your images as part of paid advertising campaigns without paying you or acknowledging your ownership.
Wake the Fuck UP!

There is no FREE on the internet!

When you signed up you agreed to:

you hereby grant to Instagram a non-exclusive, fully paid and royalty-free, worldwide, limited license to use, modify, delete from, add to, publicly perform, publicly display, reproduce and translate such Content, including without limitation distributing part or all of the Site in any media formats through any media channels, except Content not shared publicly (“private”) will not be distributed outside the Instagram Services.

Let’s look at this…
non-exclusive, fully paid and royalty-free, worldwide, limited license
You gave them a license to use your photos anyway they want without any compensation aka money to you in any form or at anytime.
So quit your bitching about them using your stuff without your permission. You gave that right up as soon as you created your account and uploaded your very first photo.

Remember they did say it was Free. Is your ass beginning to itch yet?

limited license
“use, modify, delete from, add to, publicly perform, publicly display, reproduce and translate such Content, including without limitation distributing part or all of the Site in any media formats through any media channels”
Since the ‘limits’ cover everything that you can do with any sort of image on the internet, the only limit seems to be printing it out and mailing it to your house. Which of course is the last thing any internet company is going to do. Even AOL stopped sending out CD’s years ago.

use, modify, delete from, add to
Holy Photoshop Buckwheat!! they can cut, paste, dodge, burn, and remodel your images anyway they want.This also gives them all derivative works rights also. They can change your photos from .jpg, to gif, svg, and so on and back and forth.

publicly perform, publicly display, reproduce and translate such Content
This allows them to bait the hook for the next group of suckers who can’t read and have mobile phones.

including without limitation distributing part or all of the Site in any media formats through any media channels
See use above for media formats. As far as media channels think Facebook who now owns Instagram and all of your content even if you are not a Facebook Member.

The new TOS

1.Instagram does not claim ownership of any Content that you post on or through the Service. Instead, you hereby grant to Instagram a non-exclusive, fully paid and royalty-free, transferable, sub-licensable, worldwide license to use the Content that you post on or through the Service, except that you can control who can view certain of your Content and activities on the Service as described in the Service’s Privacy Policy, available here: http://instagram.com/legal/privacy/.
2.Some or all of the Service may be supported by advertising revenue. To help us deliver interesting paid or sponsored content or promotions, you agree that a business or other entity may pay us to display your username, likeness, photos (along with any associated metadata), and/or actions you take, in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you. If you are under the age of eighteen (18), or under any other applicable age of majority, you represent that at least one of your parents or legal guardians has also agreed to this provision (and the use of your name, likeness, username, and/or photos (along with any associated metadata)) on your behalf.
Source Instagram TOS

Yep they added sub-licensable to be able to sell your ass to ad networks and Facebook. And they say that they can take money for selling your ass to advertisers to support themselves disclosing your username, likeness, photos as part of the bargain.
No you still are not getting any money nor will you ever. Get Over It.
If this scheme sounds familiar it is. This is Beacon 2.0 with the Facebook fingerprints wiped off.
Facebook Beacon was the same scheme floated a few years ago that was found to be so creepy that it spawned a class action lawsuit and was eventually shut down.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
“Beacon was a part of Facebook’s advertisement system that sent data from external websites to Facebook, for the purpose of allowing targeted advertisements and allowing users to share their activities with their friends.”

The sneaky bit that the digerati has missed so far is (along with any associated metadata)
Metadata is data about data.
By default, most mobile phones with cameras have GPS enabled.
In that case, mobile phone photos contain metadata that show the GPS coordinates of the location where the picture was taken. Not only does it contain the date and time, but also the geographical area where the photo was taken.
A fuller explanation and a tool to extract this metadata can be found here

So you are thinking so what? You can see jacks bar in the photo.
On the one hand this could be an electronic alibi for you. On the other hand you could be tracked as an un indicted co conspirator due to time and location information buried in your photo. On the gripping hand, large quantities of photos that are data mined with this information can form all sorts of ‘interesting’ directions.
Let’s say while you are taking your buddies photo outside of jacks, Hannah the Hooker is being busted by an undercover cop. Let say a week later you are out with your buddies and the same thing happens in fred’s tavern. With this metadata you could be accused of being a person of interest either in soliciting prostitution, or frequenting known prostitution venues despite the fact that you are all happily married and are just having a guys night out.

By now your ass should be bleeding profusely and there should be sirens screaming in your lizard brain, because as sure as you are reading this, someone will figure out how to fuck you with this.

Yeah, I am a glass half empty sort of guy, because I know There is no FREE on the internet!

I pay for my internet connection, hosting and my time posting this. You pay for your internet connection and your space if you have any, and your attention reading this.
I hope it is a fair trade.

HTML 5, Flash and saying NO to H.264

There is a certain amount of controversy regarding video standards and support in the upcoming HTML 5 spec for creating and designing websites. This is an important debate in terms of the future and open direction of the web.

Video has become a substantial portion of the traffic across the web due to the vibrancy of our ability to process information in engaging our visual and audio senses at one time. Folks like moving pictures.

One of the bedrock principles of HTML is the open and unencumbered code that is used into creating what we see on the screen in our browsers. To that end video and the new video tag for embedding needs to be addressed sooner rather than later. Closed technologies never benefit users over the long run.

Flash by Adobe is the current front runner in video on the web. It is an interesting technology but has become spyware on personal computers. Flash cookies are stored on your personal computer and are not removable with the standard browser privacy controls.

Don’t take my word for it, check for yourself:
Where to find these flash cookies:

* Windows: LSO files are stored typically with a “.SOL” extension, within each user’s Application Data directory, under Macromedia\FlashPlayer\#SharedObjects.
* Mac OS X: For Web sites, ~/Library/Preferences/Macromedia/FlashPlayer. For AIR Applications, ~/Library/Preferences/[package name (ID)of your app] and ~/Library/Preferences/Macromedia/FlashPlayer/macromedia.com/Support/flashplayer/sys
* GNU-Linux: ~/.macromedia
Hattip Wired News: You Deleted Your Cookies? Think Again

Read More
Schneier on Security: Flash Cookies

And currently none of the browser makers are addressing this issue. But then Adobe has a history of violating your privacy. An earlier version, Flash Player 6, turned on your Camera and Microphone by default if your computer had them. Flash itself puts blocks between you and your privacy by requiring you to go to Adobe.com to “manage” you privacy settings. There is no other down loadable program that requires this scheme, and cannot be managed on your own computer.

They say that the new version will respect your privacy, but don’t hold your breath.

Adobe is trying hard to keep their grip on the video on the web by a campaign of disinformation as to how open the Flash application is.
However, here is the money shot from Dave McAllister a blogger for Adobe.

The main reason we can’t release Flash Player as open source is because there is technology in the Player that we don’t own, such as the industry standard hi-def video codec, H.264. Adobe pays for that codec so video plays reliably worldwide, across browsers and OS’s. So we make it as open as we can – by releasing the specifications.
Source: Open at Adobe

Moving along from privacy to usability
Kevin Lynch also posted his take on Flash and most revealing are the comments.
Adobe is also saying that Flash doesn’t crash or hang systems, but the comments on this posting at Download Squad tells a different story.
Interesting is the admission by Adobe of incorporating H.264 to hedge their bets.
H.264 is getting a lot of airtime across the web as a possible successor to supplant Flash as a video standard. As the above quote aptly demonstrates H.264 is not an open standard, but a proprietary codec owned by the MPEG LA group. In a story posted at Beta News, the H.264 Group says that they will not ask for royalties aka payment for use,(until 2015 unless they change their mind) but trust me, just like the UNISYS .gif patent mess they will come calling.

According to Allen Harkness, global licensing director:

“While our Licenses are not concluded by End Users, anyone in the product chain has liability if an end product is unlicensed,” wrote Harkness. “Therefore, a royalty paid for an end product by the end product supplier would render the product licensed in the hands of the End User, but where a royalty has not been paid, such a product remains unlicensed and any downstream users/distributors would have liability. Therefore, we suggest that all End Users deal with products only from licensed suppliers.”

anyone in the product chain has liability if an end product is unlicensedThink YouTube with Invoicing. When the RIAA gets tired of suing everybody, the lawyers can just step into H.264 suits.

Like folks are gonna plumb source code for licensing and or liability. Give me a fucking break! Seriously, most folks on the web think that Copyright is a gift from Microsoft with Right Mouse Click > Save As.

Ogg Theora is currently the frontrunner in open source video, still has some technical limitations, but it has the potential to become a royalty free open video standard.
Encumbering the web with proprietary technologies will kill the web as surely as if you turned off the power to your computer.

Amazon gets Borged

Amazon, arguably the largest bookseller on the planet, and proud parent of the Kindle Book Reader, whose birth defects are legion, most notably DRM, came out with V2, which added  text to speech as an enhancement, recently came under fire by none other than  the Borg Collective Authors Guild.

Roy Blount Jr., current President of the Authors Guild put forth the argument that:

“Kindle 2 is being sold specifically as a new, improved, multimedia version of books — every title is an e-book and an audio book rolled into one. And whereas e-books have yet to win mainstream enthusiasm, audio books are a billion-dollar market, and growing. Audio rights are not generally packaged with e-book rights. They are more valuable than e-book rights. Income from audio books helps not inconsiderably to keep authors, and publishers, afloat.”
Source NY Times

Audio Books still come on cassettes fer christ sakes! Growing Market my Ass!

There is nothing illegal with text to speech especially in the comfort of your own home, on your own devices,(readers, computers, your significant other, or parents) The First Sale Doctrine alone gives you the right to do what you want with your books. Regardless of delivery system, subject to physical or technological stumbling blocks like DRM. For example I used a copy of John Deans ‘Blind Ambition’ for target practice. Which is my right.

The “first sale” doctrine says that a person who buys a legally produced copyrighted work may “sell or otherwise dispose” of the work as he sees fit, subject to some important conditions and exceptions. Section 109(a). In other words, if you legally buy a book or CD, “first sale” gives you the right to loan that book or CD to your friend. Libraries heavily depend on the first sale doctrine to lend books and other items to patrons.
Source: AALL

Which if you have the brains god gave a gerbil, is the first free taste most people get that leads to an addiction to the printed word, culminating in visits to dead tree dealers both offline and on, like Borders, Barnes and Noble, and Amazon.

That the Borg Collective Authors Guild, would put forth such a specious argument boggles the mind in light of using the audio book market (another milestone in technology) as its justification for demanding the removal the Kindle’s technological Next Step, the text to speech feature.

No the most outrageous part of this sorry mess is that Amazon fell for it. Here is Amazon’s statement:

Kindle 2’s experimental text-to-speech feature is legal: no copy is made, no derivative work is created, and no performance is being given. Furthermore, we ourselves are a major participant in the professionally narrated audiobooks business through our subsidiaries Audible and Brilliance. We believe text-to-speech will introduce new customers to the convenience of listening to books and thereby grow the professionally narrated audiobooks business.

Nevertheless, we strongly believe many rights holders will be more comfortable with the text-to-speech feature if they are in the driver’s seat.

Therefore, we are modifying our systems so that rights holders can decide on a title by title basis whether they want text-to-speech enabled or disabled for any particular title. We have already begun to work on the technical changes required to give authors and publishers that choice. With this new level of control, publishers and authors will be able to decide for themselves whether it is in their commercial interests to leave text-to-speech enabled. We believe many will decide that it is.

Customers tell us that with Kindle, they read more, and buy more books. We are passionate about bringing the benefits of modern technology to long-form reading.

Note that the rights holders are emphasized,(before authors) which as an author you usually have to assign to a publisher to get published. The Borg Collective Authors Guild’s members would probably be better served limiting rights grants to publishers for publication. Because without authors, there is no reason for a publishing industry. Ask the Buggy Whip or Pager folks.
Authors should be drowning Jeff Bezos in fruit baskets or hookers in profound thanks making their work available worldwide 24/7.

Social Network Slavery YouTube hands Viacom the whip

The latest episode of Social Network Slavery is the Viacom Copyright Grab of Joanna Davidovich’s [1] short film she created, Copyrighted, and posted to YouTube.

Copyright and 2 bucks will get you a cheap cup of latte.
This is interesting on a number of counts.
First, the terms of discovery in the YouTube Viacom Copyright Infringement lawsuit, turned over allegedly non personal information logfiles, so Viacom could attempt to circumvent the Safe Harbor Provision of Section 512 of the DMCA, [2] and place YouTube, as the largest copy thief on the planet. So now it looks like the first thing Viacom is doing is making a land grab for everything that is not nailed down.

Second, according to Joanna, there is a distribution agreement between her and Viacom. she says,

“only entered into distribution agreements that were nonexclusive.”

I have no details on this currently, but as a guess, it probably assigns the copyrights to Viacom.

The defect in this agreement and with every other social network site, are the Terms and Conditions that these sites make you agree to, before posting anything.
Let me take a moment and explain what you are giving away to the Social Network Content Plantations.

a worldwide, fully sub-licensable, fully paid-up and royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable license to use, reproduce, modify, distribute, publicly display, publicly perform, and create derivative works

You gave it all away and for free. See if the word Chump fits

I have written on this before.

[3] Facebook – Emerald City’s Newest Sharecropper Network
[4] A Bill of Rights for Users of the Social Web – The Sharecropper’s Revolt
[5] Social Network Bill of Rights

The most pathetic part of this is you have done it to yourselves.

Third, and most important is the lack of value of Copyright and the lengths that the Entertainment and Publishing Industries have gone to turn Copyright into an Entitlement Program for themselves, while perverting the the spirit of Copyright for Creators, Musicians, Authors, Filmakers, and everyone who has a novel artistic idea.

Everyone who participates in Social Network Sharecropping sites is at best a share cropper and at worst a slave. Your participation fills their pockets, and is not going to change anytime soon. They are not chumps.
You may get a couple minutes of fame, they get to sell your ass down the river forever for free.

[1] Viacom Fraudulently Claims Ownership Of Indie Filmmakers’ YouTube Clips
[2] Frequently Asked Questions (and Answers) about DMCA Safe Harbor Provisions
[3] Facebook – Emerald City’s Newest Sharecropper Network
[4] A Bill of Rights for Users of the Social Web – The Sharecropper’s Revolt
[5] Social Network Bill of Rights

fair use is a part of the design of copyright, it is not an exception to it,

This is the probably the most significant distillation of Fair Use I have ever seen.

“fair use is a part of the design of copyright, it is not an exception to it,”
William F. Patry

This is a partial quote from William Patry, who is probably the pre eminent Copyright Lawyer on the planet, responding to a blog post by Patrick Ross, who probably knows less than I do about Copyright, and I am not a lawyer.

At issue are ross’s statements on Fair Use in response to a new report: Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Online Video from The Center for Social Media at American University’s School of Communication which is a non-partisan group, unlike the Copyright Alliance whose membership reads like a roll call of Big Media, and the remora like associations that surround them.

Fair Use outlines how an excerpt of material can be used, it does not prescribe a percentage, or any guidelines as to where the line is. Fair Use is only a Defense Mechanism used in a court of law on a case by case basis. It sucks, but there it is.

Here is today’s pop quiz!

Who do you think has a better idea what Fair Use is About?

Patrick Ross, Executive Director

Patrick Ross is executive director of the Copyright Alliance, a grass-roots coalition of artists, producers and distributors from across the copyright spectrum. Prior to joining the Copyright Alliance he was a senior fellow with The Progress & Freedom Foundation, a free-market think tank in Washington, D.C. Ross focused on intellectual property issues for PFF’s Center for the Study of Digital Property (IPcentral.info), specifically the rights of artists. He was also PFF’s vice president for communications and external affairs.

Source Copyright Alliance


William F. Patry (born January 1, 1950 in Niskayuna, New York) is an American lawyer specialized on copyright law. He studied at the San Francisco State University, where he obtained a B.A. in 1974 and an M.A. in 1976, and then at the University of Houston, where he was graduated with a J.D. in 1980. He was admitted to the bar in Texas in 1981, in the District of Columbia in 2000, and in New York in 2001.[1]

Patry served as a copyright counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives in the early 1990s, where he participated in the elaboration of the copyright provisions of the Uruguay Round Agreements Act.[2] Patry also worked as a policy planning advisor to the Register of Copyrights, and held a post as Professor of Law at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.[3] He is also the author of a 7-volume treatise on U.S. copyright law entitled Patry on Copyright, arguably superior in breadth and depth to Nimmer’s Nimmer on Copyright.[4] Patry is currently Senior Copyright Counsel at Google, Inc.

Copyfight – AP vs Rodger Cadenhead – No Winners

This copyfight has no winners.

Rodgers did not win.  Rodgers conformance, compliance, or capitulation, is his alone. It does not apply to you or I. It is not  a victory in any real sense. The closest description is a cease fire. Hostilities will  resume.

In every case it was an excerpt, which is ‘Fair Use’ and does not require the author’s permission, regardless of how much they wish to the contrary.

AP did not win because they attempted to legislate “Fair Use” by intimidation.  The AP saying ‘quoting a headline and the lede paragraph of a story’ is infringement is crap. It is AP’s attempt to maintain control over it’s ‘product’, the hook and the summary, (also known as the AP Style) with a headline and first paragraph, with the rest of the story explaining the first ‘graf’. They would really like to make this Infringement, because if you quote that, the story is basically over, you have the sizzle and the steak, the rest is fat and bone.

AP will need a bunch more lawyers to file DMCA notices, because unless they go back to the teletype, and have their owner-members erect paywalls, it will be quoted.

Robert Cox  gets an atta boy for his work in resolving this specific issue, Back Story on How AP and Drudge Retort Come to Terms especially in the speed of getting a large organization like the AP to make a decision without months of meetings, focus groups, and balloting, but gets a big aw shit for trying to sell us insurance, regardless of his statement of no commission.

We didn’t win, as what we think about excerpting and Fair Use is no clearer today than it was last week.